Arc Flash Studies
Per OSHA, the employer shall assess the workplace to identify, communicate, and protect against potential electrical hazards. An arc flash and shock hazard study determines the rating of personal protective equipment (PPE) to be worn when performing work on or near exposed energized equipment.
If the criteria of OSHA and NFPA 70E are met and work on energized equipment is permitted, an arc flash and shock hazard analysis study utilizing IEEE 1584 can be performed to determine the arc rating of personal protective equipment.
- Boundaries will be determined which define how far from the equipment of concern both qualified and unqualified personnel can approach and at what distance from the equipment arc-rated personal protective equipment shall be worn.
- A label listing the arc flash potential, respective boundaries, and power system parameters, will be provided for the analyzed equipment. The label is specific to the equipment it’s adhered to and the installation of the equipment at the time of analysis.
Per NFPA 70E, this study needs to be updated and new labels applied when modifications are made to the existing power system when new equipment is installed and at an interval not to exceed five years to account for the change in utility fault contribution. If routine maintenance is not performed, the operation of electrical equipment may deviate from manufactured specifications, increasing the severity of the potential hazards assessed.